Category Archives: Kiddo

Our Girl

My due date came and went, I took off work two weeks early (SURE she would come any day), refused to spend more than 60 seconds outside (thanks, ENDLESS SUMMER), but finally, with a little help from a friendly induction, our baby girl arrived.

Introducing Ada Beatrix Mueller.

Other than sleeping through our alarm, being 45 minutes late to our own induction, and temporarily losing Travis’s cell phone for the day, everything went very smoothly. Thanks, Ada!

It took all of two seconds for her to completely melt my heart.

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She was meant to be part of our family.

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Meeting big brother for the first time. We weren’t sure how much he understood about the whole sibling thing, but the moment he saw her he yelled, “Baby sister!” and gave her a kiss. Such a sweetie.

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We were able to ditch the hospital after one night and get home to be together as a family.

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I feel so privileged to be her mom, to have a daughter.

Fun fact: In addition to being my great grandmother’s name, Ada is also the name of Lord Byron’s daughter (and she was the first female computer scientist). So I’ll finish by quoting the poet:

“Ada! Sole daughter of my house and heart” 

 

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“I uh ooh, Mama”

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That’s what you said to me in the tub last night, and it just made my whole life.

Daddy has been trying to get you to say, “I love you, Mama” for months now, and this was the first time you uttered any kind of sound in response. Way to deliver the good stuff, little man.

You also said “I uh ooh” to Maeby and Daddy. (Doodle was avoiding you, as usual. Sorry he’s so grumpy.)

Today you are just 4 days shy of your 22-month mark.

A couple of weeks ago you proved once again how adaptable you are by being an absolute trooper for Grandma while Mama and Daddy left you for six days to go on vacation to Cape Cod. While we were at Mayflower Beach we talked about how much you’d love it there.

You are OBSESSED with brushing your teeth. You climb up on the little white IKEA stool and say “teeth!” while nodding your head. I turn the water on for you – as low a flow as I can manage (you are NOT great for water conservation) – and you hold your Eeyore toothbrush under the stream and then suck on the toothbrush, occasionally putting your hand under the water, drawing it to your mouth and then “spitting.” You throw a fit if we try to make you stop before you’re ready. I suppose there are worse habits for a child to cling to.

Last night at dinner you put a tortilla on your head and before he corrected you, you caught Daddy laughing at you. I gave in, too. I think this was the first time you’ve ever noticed that you could do something to make us laugh, and you ate it up, putting that tortilla back on your head over and over again.

When we ask, “Where is baby sister Ada?” you lift up my shirt and gently kiss my belly. You are already such a loving big brother. Ada is due in less than three weeks, and I pray that you two will have a deep and joyful partnership.

While you are generally an easy-going kid, you have been known to have a complete meltdown because, for instance, we tried to give you the rest of your smoothie that you asked for. Or because I offered to help you put your shoes on. Or because it’s time for a diaper change. Just throwing this out there to balance the warm-fuzzies.

Also, I’m afraid it really is time for your first haircut. Your precious curls may have finally outgrown their cuteness and are veering into sketchy convenience store clerk style. Not really what we’re going for.

I love you so much, and am hoping to soak up these next weeks of our final days being a family of three. It is difficult to imagine another life than the one we have right now with you, but we’re excited for what comes next.

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(This is an email I wrote to Cam a few days ago. You know, like that Google commercial where the dad emails his daughter throughout her childhood. Because I am a sap, and after I saw that commercial and it made me cry, I created an email address for him. Then I forgot about it for a year, couldn’t remember the address or the password so was forced to create a new account for him, then started writing to him semi-regularly.)

First Word

It’s official, we’re calling it: His first word is SOCK. Because, you know, that’s vital to communicating when you can’t say anything else.

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Technically the first intentional sound he made was “Aah aah.” As in “Ooh ooh aah ahh,” like a monkey. For some reason out of everything we say to him over and over and over again, making a monkey sound is what he responded to. Not “mama” or “dada” or “more” or “dog.” Nothing there. But when he sees that monkey inside the cabinet of “Where’s Spot?” he knows exactly what to say.

A Morning at the Farm

We’ve been meaning to visit one of Austin’s urban farms since we moved back in January and finally got around to it a few weeks ago. We headed east to explore Springdale Farm, and it was a delightful way to pass 30 minutes on a gorgeous Saturday morning in October. There was a bridal party there preparing for a wedding later that day, and it was so rustic-chic (rustichic?) that all of a sudden I wanted to have another wedding just so I could have it there, under the trees and carnival lights, with mismatched china on the banquet tables and chickens hanging out in the background.

We arrived a little late, so there wasn’t A TON of produce, but we bought a ginormous sweet potato and a jar of what turned out to be delicious pear and sage preserves. YUM.

But mainly it gave me a good backdrop for some Camden-in-suspenders photos.

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9 Dogs on a Moonlit Night

For the longest time Camden’s interest in books has consisted of … eating them.

But about two weeks ago he suddenly started paying attention as we “read” them and pointing to the pages. He even picks out books and hands us to them to read. His particular favorite is Sandra Boynton’s “Doggies” (A barking and counting book).

The book counts up from one dog through 10, each pup with a unique bark. The entry for nine reads “9 dogs on a moonlit night,” with all the dogs howling, “AAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

Tonight when Travis and I got home from work, my mom told us her and Camden had been howling together. She opened the book to the “9 dogs” page, the three of us all howled, and then Camden let out a tiny, soft “aaaaoooooo.”

HEART MELTED.

 

How to Make Your Baby Snuggle

We Muellers have discovered a fool-proof method for getting little man to snuggle in bed with us in the morning.

Step 1: Be a weekday morning. Extra points if you’re a weekday morning with early appointments that must be gotten to. This is baby’s ideal, guaranteed time when he will want to snuggle in bed, with no plans for waking up anytime soon.

Step 2: Don’t be a weekend morning. There’s no place for you in Snuggleworld, weekend morning. You think because you have time to be lazy and relaxed that means you shall attract snuggles? Wrong!

You’ll never have this, weekend morning.

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Must Remember This: Baby Hugs

One of our favorite things about Camden lately is that he is becoming a deliberate and enthusiastic hugger. I never even knew that babies hugged, but it is the most delightful, soul-soothing experience. Camden gets a big smile on his face, lunges forward, and wraps his fat arms around the object of his affection: us, Maeby, a stuffed animal, you name it.

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And tonight when Travis and I got home from work, the little man was in rare form. While Travis was holding him, Camden grunted and reached out for me, grabbing tightly at my neck as I pulled him close. Then, merely a few seconds later, he turned back around and did the same thing toward Travis, who of course happily received him back. Camden almost immediately did an about face and launched himself back into my arms. He did this back and forth between me and Travis at least four or five times, each exchange ending with him clinging to us like a little koala bear. And of course each time, we were all gooey and overflowing with praise and thank-yous and hugs back, so he kept getting little rewards of attention at each turn, compelling him to keep it up.

Those little embraces were the perfect salve for our troubles, whatever they were today or will be tomorrow. He squeezed them right out.

The Spaghetti Moment

A few weeks ago Camden and I were having lunch together, and he kept getting messier and messier and messier. At the end of the meal as I stepped back to admire his handiwork, I realized this was an important rite of passage in his young life: the spaghetti moment. Every kid has it. The aftermath of 20 minutes spent smashing marinara and noodles all over your face with utter joy and abandon. This was no time for a mere camera phone, so I ran to grab the Nikon. As you can see, he’s already a ham for the camera.

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Bite Me

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Mom: You didn’t tell me Camden has teeth!

Us: He doesn’t!

Mom: He most certainly does!

[baby check]

Us: Oh my gosh, he has teeth!

And that’s how we won this year’s award for Most Oblivious Parents.

Little man sprouted his 2 front teeth on the bottom and we had no clue. But there they are, little white stubby things yelling, “Look at us: proof your baby boy is growing up and is surely just days away from high school and driving and acne and then college and marriage and having kids of his own!”

I guess we better start paying closer attention.